Nine years ago, when I started writing “The World According to Dr. El,” McKnight’s Editor Jim Berklan reassured me that I’d always find something to say. I was surprised to discover that not only was this true, in fact the opposite was often the case — many weeks I’ve had difficulty choosing between an abundance of intriguing topics.
Over the years, I’ve used the column to explain what psychologists do in long-term care and what they could do if given the chance. I’ve highlighted issues that I thought deserved more attention, and I’ve tried to amplify the efforts of do-gooders in the field. I shared my COVID-19 experiences back when New York City was an anomaly, and I’ve advocated for the growing number of severely mentally ill residents in our midst.
And while I haven’t run out of material, I’m tapping out my last column because I don’t want to run out of time. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from sitting by the bedsides of elders in the nursing home, it’s that life goes faster than we think it will, and I have other mountains to climb.
I plan to spend more time with the octogenarians in my own family, focus on my New York licensed virtual private practice, and continue with my speaking engagements and other eldercare-related projects.
My greatest hope, aside from enjoying time without a biweekly deadline, is to publish the novel I started many years ago about a psychologist working in a nursing home. (A stretch, I know.) It’s the undertaking I’d most regret leaving undone if I were talking to my psychologist in my nursing home room at age 85.
But enough about me.
The pricey problem I haven’t mentioned before
There’s one thing I haven’t told you in the last nine years, and it’s costing you a fortune.